Friday, March 2, 2012

56. Aeneas’s Journey

Arms and the man I sing, the first who came
Compelled by fate an exile out of Troy…” (The Aeneid, Rolfe Humphies translation)

“Remember what they did”
Said the ghosts of Trojan women,
“Remember the fire.”
“The horse.”
“How they cut down our heroes”
“How they murdered us”
“Tearing our children from our comforting arms.”
Those words haunted him
As Aphrodite’s son escaped the mighty cyclopean walls.
His people burned.
They pleaded for help from Athena
But it was all in vain.
Hera’s hatred sent them to their doom.
Hector appeared to injured Aeneas in a dream.
“My brother,”
The fallen prince told him,
“Fate has given you a chance”
“To get even with those that did this.”
“Go west and you shall see.”
“In the land above Sicily.”
Aeneas and his family
Left the dead and ruined city.
To the ships they went
Eager to find this new promised land.
They came to Thrace
Where the black blood of Polydorus
Gave warnings of greed in the land
Sending them off once again.
Apollo’s island welcomed them
With great earthquake
They were off to Crete, the lonely Isle
Where, in a dream, he was told of Italus’ land.
Passed the turning point they traveled
Where flocks of harpies pestered them.
They followed Greek islands
Up to the lands that Alexander saved.
From there they sailed passed the boot
That will house their future home
To the land where Poseidon’s sons live.
They saved a man from the one eyed one.
Left carelessly by the horse maker on his way home.
Then between the treacherous rocky whirlpool and sister monster.
After surviving those two beasts
They met a storm stirred up by Hera
That brought them to rest on Dido’s mighty shores.
As Aeneas told his story
Aphrodite set the queen aflame.
In a cave on hunting trip
Came Dido’s poor undoing.
Aphrodite’s son promised marriage
But left her to fall to her grave
Cursing the Trojan race
And all who spring from them.
After a visit to Hades’ land
They went north to their promised fate.

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